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Improving SEO: A Comprehensive Guide to Backlinks

Published: 2023-09-14

Written By Owen Crisp


When looking to improve your businesses SEO, backlinks remain a crucial factor in determining a website's visibility and ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). These digital endorsements, which come in various forms, hold the power to mould your online presence. In this comprehensive guide we'll explore various types of backlinks, where they come from, and their impacts on SEO strategies.

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or simply "links," are hyperlinks from one website to another. They serve as pathways that guide users from one online resource to another, effectively connecting the vast web of information. Search engines, like Google, consider these links as notions of confidence, indicating toward the quality and relevance of a website's content. This may also be part of the consideration in the overall "trust" of a site.  

The SEO Power of Backlinking

We first have the "gold standard" of backlinks. Natural, occasionally known as editorial, backlinks are earned organically when other websites find your content valuable and link to it without any prompting. They emerge when webmasters, bloggers, or content creators find your content valuable, informative, or insightful and, of their own accord, decide to link to it from their site. Natural backlinks are a testament to the credibility, the authority, and trustworthiness of your content. The key to attracting natural backlinks is to consistently produce high-quality, informative, and engaging content. Content that provides unique insights, solves problems, or presents original research is more likely to capture the attention of other webmasters. Unlike other forms of backlink, these are not purchasable and must be earned over time. These links are a testament to your content's credibility.

Next, we have guest post backlinks. When contributing guest posts to other reputable and well known websites within your niche, you can strategically include backlinks to your own content within that post. This method allows you to tap into the audience of the host website and direct traffic of that audience to your site; organically growing your own. The main essence of guest posting is the transaction of your knowledge for exposure. Guest posting naturally introduces your content to a much wider audience. Guest posting should be strategic and well planned. By specifically targeting high quality sites already, this can be used to further bolster the campaign of growing your own SEO.

As a note, you can monitor the performance of backlinks using sites such as google analytics. By tracking the performance, this allows further honing of the SEO campaign and ensures you are on track to increase your SERP rankings.

In similar authoritative fashion, contextual backlinks can further refine the strategy. Contextual backlinks are embedded within the body of a text, surrounded by relevant content. These links tend to have a stronger impact on SEO because they are seen as more natural and valuable. Unlike links in headers, footers, or sidebars (which can be seen as less impactful), contextual backlinks are seamlessly integrated into the narrative of the content. Their placement feels natural and purposeful, without any seemingly forceful or unnatural advertising. These tie in directly with the aforementioned guest posting.

On the other hand, you can reach out to website owners, industry influencers, or bloggers within your niche and request that they link to your content. Effective outreach requires detailed research and personalised pitches. The best of which will lead to these figures truly believing in your content and the mission behind it. This is often paid, either in cash or exchange of goods, and can be as far that a complete "backlink" service is used. All of these services can be expensive, promising to direct traffic and correct audiences to your site. With prices ranging from a few pounds to hundreds per link, they offer a much faster method of obtaining backlinks; albeit unnatural and sometimes expensive.

Sometimes, websites link to your content by using an image rather than text. Image backlinks can be valuable, especially if the image is related to your content and includes an alt text and relevant keywords. You should focus on creating striking and high-quality images that are relevant to your content and audience. Quality images are more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites. You may also utilise reverse image search tools (such as Google) to identify where your images are being used across the web and capitalise on the potential backlink opportunities. Utilise infographics, charts, or other visual content that can be easily shared and is appealing, as these can linked to by multiple parties to expand the backlink opportunities.

Backlinks are a cornerstone of a successful SEO strategy. They not only enhance your website's authority, but also drive traffic and boost search engine rankings. By utilising effective backlink building strategies and consistently creating high-quality content, you can harness the power of backlinks to cement your businesses online presence in the digital landscape. If you would like to learn more about SEO and what it can do for your business, we recommend you check out our "5 Key Notes" for effective SEO management.

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